Magazine article New African

Retrieving the Past Is No Taboo

Magazine article New African

Retrieving the Past Is No Taboo

Article excerpt

This month is the 20th anniversary of Black History Month UK. It is a celebration that brings a lot of attention and focus on black communities in the UK.


Incidentally, the 20th anniversary comes at a time when our communities in the UK are in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons. The spate of youth shootings, murders and anti-social and criminal behaviour forces us to take stock of what is happening to us as individuals and as members of the community.

In this debate, there are the ritualistic prophesies of doom, the articulation of differing aspects of dysfunctional features among our families and communities, and various realignments of "problems" around allegiances, identity and belonging.

Ironically, Black History Month is about reflection--personal, political and communal--to inform the development of our futures. For many of us who migrated to Britain, history was all about the recitation of key dates and the acknowledgement of the events that surrounded those dates.

But for this anniversary, we would hope that it is the reflection that will dominate over the celebration. We face many challenges as our futures are charted and as we fulfil our roles as parents, elders and activists. Understanding where we came from, the obstacles that we were confronted with and the strategies that we adopted to overcome them are the "history" that will inform our futures. Learning from the past will also enable us to build the bridges and form the alliances that will prepare us for meeting the unforeseen. …

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